The electric vehicles (EVs) market is going mainstream. Globally, almost 9% of all car sales were electric in 2021, up from just 2.5% in 2019. China and Europe are leading sales, but EV sales doubled, year-over-year, in 2021, to roll past 500,000 vehicles even in the United States.
And that number is set to multiply, moving forward. Ford recently announced it had advance orders for more than 200,000 of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, set to hit the road later this year, forcing it to close down preordering for the vehicle until its manufacturing plants can begin to catch up.
This growing interest in powering up using a plug rather than a pump is putting a significant demand on sustainable power generation and causing many sleepless nights for battery manufacturers as they ramp up production to keep up with demand.
Major auto manufacturers are building new battery plants as quickly as they can. GM has announced plans for its third such facility, at $2.1 billion, with LG Chem.
Ford and its partner SK Innovation have plans on the boards for an $11.4 billion campus in Tennessee that will include two new battery production plants. And, on a single day in October, both Stellantis (Chrysler’s parent company) and Toyota previewed their investments in upcoming battery plants with production dedicated to their vehicles. And Reuters estimates automakers will spend more than $500 billion on EV and related battery production plants by 2030.
Schneider Electric understands the pressure battery makers are facing. We deliver end-to-end digital solutions for EV battery plants, from electrode production to cell finishing. Digitalizing your facility can help you meet your goals for efficient, reliable, and sustainable plant operations that lead to high productivity.
Four ways proven battery-manufacturing experience drives success
Schneider Electric’s underlying skillset with EV battery plant design and operation is our expertise in power digitalization through our EcoStruxure platform of digital, networked power equipment and devices. Our solutions span the four pillars we’ve identified as essential to battery manufacturing success:
- Accelerate time to market to bring plants through design and into operation more quickly.
- Increase productivity and so reduce costs for finished battery cells.
- Improve quality by minimizing risks that can lead to downtime and lost production.
- Emphasize sustainability by boosting the plant’s energy efficiency and the manufacturing process to reach best-in-class status for carbon emissions/kilowatt-hour of produced capacity.
Bringing digital twins to life
Digital twins are virtual duplicates of the exact systems they are designed to represent. They are enabled by the latest generation of sensors, meters, and cloud-based analytics, which combine to create near real-time models of equipment and systems.
Digital-twin technology spans all four of these pillars, and it’s an approach manufacturers of all kinds and other owners of complex systems now are turning to understand better and improve their operations.
EcoStruxure Power delivers an end-to-end digital solution that enhances our electrical distribution digital twin capabilities. This solution takes day-to-day system modeling and design tasks to a new level of speed, accuracy, and ease. With it, we can help EV battery plant operators create digital twins that can help:
- Accelerate time to market by enabling simulations that can help designers understand and predict future electrical network behavior.
- Increase production efficiency through accurate analysis of current energy use, modeling the impact of future manufacturing line changes, and providing valuable training simulations that can help quickly bring new employees up to speed.
- Improve quality and reduce downtime through 24/7 power-quality monitoring, alarming to alert operators of potential problems and easier analysis and correction if power events occur.
- Boost sustainability by enabling easier modeling and integration of onsite renewables and storage, more accurate energy-efficiency monitoring and compliance, and providing the data needed for greenhouse-gas reporting.
Stay informed, stay tuned
Digitalized electrical distribution and power management solutions can provide immense value to these operations. Download our reference guide EcoStruxure Power & Digital Twin for EV battering manufacturing plants to discover how.
I’ll be exploring some of these industries in future articles. To learn more about the digitalization of electrical distribution combined with comprehensive power management, visit EcoStruxure Power.